Downtown Express photo by Isaac Rosenthal
Bread fires can kill, rabbi and commissioner warn
Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, second from left, Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano, far left, and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Fire Department chaplain, holding bread, discussed Passover fire-safety tips on Friday at Engine Company 24/Ladder Company 5, at Sixth Ave. and West Houston St. They demonstrated how to safely carry out the Passover ritual of burning leavened bread at the holiday’s start. In 2004, five people were seriously burned when a man poured paint thinner on a ceremonial fire in Borough Park, and in 2005, three Williamsburg children died in a fire caused by stovetop burners left on during the holiday.
Not even a trickle
A resident of an apartment at 83 Mercer St. between Spring and Broome Sts. answered her door a 12:30 p.m. to a man who said there was a massive leak in the basement coming from her bathroom and went through her bedroom to investigate, police said. She followed him after a while and told him to leave when he did not discover any leak. She later found her bedroom in disarray and her diamond ring missing from her nightstand, police said. The suspect was described as a white man in his 40s wearing a black raincoat, blue jeans and a black knit cap.
Mugged on Prince
A man walking in front of 114 Prince St. between Greene and Wooster Sts. on Tuesday evening March 31 was talking on his cell phone around 7:20 p.m. when two men hit him over the head several times, went through his pockets, took his wallet with $300 and fled, police said. The two suspects were described as being black, about 19 years old, one about 5’8” and the other about 5’9”.
Police arrested Clayton Isaac, 39, on Sun., March 29 in connection with the robbery more than a month earlier of a deli at 103 Church St. near Park Pl. The suspect walked in the deli at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 17, went behind the counter, poured himself a cup of coffee, then pushed an employee aside and said, “I have a gun. I’ll kill you,” and fled with $500 that he snatched from the cash register, according to the Manhattan District’s Attorney’s office. The suspect was identified when his fingerprints on the coffee pot matched those in police records.
The Citibank branch at 100 William St. was evacuated and closed shortly after 9 a.m. Fri., April 3 when an envelope containing an unidentified white powder was found near the automated teller machines, police said. Nine people were decontaminated as a precaution. Police have not released any information about the investigation, which was still underway on Wed., April 8.
Robbery assault arrest
Police arrested Abdul Garcia, 27, of 571 F.D.R. Dr. in the Baruch Houses on Sun., March 29 and charged him with robbery and assault in connection with a March 15 attack on a victim at 11:20 p.m. at the corner of Avenue D and E. Sixth St. Garcia, one of a gang of 10 robbers who took a gold chain from the victim, turned and slashed the victim on the arm after the theft, according to the charges. He pleaded not guilty on his arraignment two weeks later and was being held for trial.
Late night punch
Kenneth Melton, 39, of Lancaster, Pa., was arrested around midnight Thurs., April 2 outside of an internet café at 24 Eldridge St. south of Canal St. and charged with third degree assault, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Melton asked a man who was smoking in front of the café for a cigarette but was refused. He then asked the man for a dollar and when he was again refused, punched the man in the face, according to the complaint.
Delivery biker hit
A black car collided with a Chevy’s food delivery bicyclist at River Terrace and Chambers St. at 8:35 p.m. Tues., March 24, injuring the bike delivery rider who was taken to New York Downtown Hospital, according to the Battery Park City PEP office. There was no arrest.
River jump prevented
A woman threatened to jump into the Hudson River from the Battery Park City Esplanade at 3:30 p.m. Tues., March 31 after an argument with her boyfriend, according to a B.P.C. PEP report. Police and an Emergency Medical Service team restrained the woman and convinced her not to jump. She was released without hospitalization, according to the PEP report.
A man who went to dine at Liberty View Restaurant, 21 South End Ave., in Battery Park City chained and locked his bicycle at a rack on South End Ave. on Sunday afternoon April 5 and found the lock and chain cut and his bike gone when he returned at 3:40 p.m.
Stuck on train
An East Village resident, 17, was robbed and stuck with a hypodermic needle around 10:45 p.m. Tues., March 31 at the Chambers St. station of the J,M line, police said. The suspect had asked the victim for the time as the train left the Delancey St. station and then snatched the victim’s cell phone as the train arrived at Chambers St. The victim demanded the return of the phone, but suspect stuck him with the needle and fled, police said. The victim was tested for H.I.V. but the results would not be available for several weeks, according to the police report.
Soho hold-up arrest
Police arrested Cheika Hamala Sidibe, 39, around 10:15 a.m. Tues, April 7 and charged him with robbing the Solstice Sunglass boutique at 107 Spring St. Police said the suspect pulled a knife on the woman attending the store and said, “Give me all the money in the cash register, don’t cry or scream and you won’t get hurt.” He then pushed her down behind the counter, grabbed $578.67 from the register and fled but was arrested a short time later, police said.
Security guards at the Apple store, 103 Prince St., arrested Arlen Johnson, 48, for trying to walk out of the store at 12:30 p.m. Thurs. April 2 without paying for an Apple ear phone valued at $116, which he had tucked into a black plastic bag, police said.
A worker for a private contractor was knocked unconscious at 9:30 a.m. Thurs., April 2 when a metal pipe being lowered to the bottom of a shaft at the Bowling Green subway station slipped and fell, striking him on the head. Firefighters pulled the victim, 27, out of the shaft. He was taken to Bellevue in serious but stable condition. His name was not released.
— Albert Amateau